Summary: A sermon showing that God’s Spirit is holy; an attribute we so often fail to remember. We discuss the absolute need to rely upon the Spirit or we will be powerless as Christians.
A man who was raised in the city bought a farm and moved to the country. He soon bought a cow. When he went to buy the feed for the cow, he was told the best way to use it for maximum milk.
Several weeks later, the man came back to the store and said there was something wrong with the feed because the cow had gone dry. The salesman asked him if he were milking the cow every day.
The man said he only took enough milk for breakfast; that he never drank milk the rest of the day. The salesman told him that wasn’t how it works. When you milk a cow, he said, you have to take it all, or the cow will quickly go dry.
That is the same way with the Holy Spirit. We take all that is available, or we end up without any at all. You just cannot take “a little” of what God has to offer.
Today, we are going to talk about the two types of walk we have with God. We have a physical walk that deals with our desires, and we have a spiritual walk that deals with God’s desires.
They are two entirely different types of walks, and they produce two entirely different fruits. One focuses on how God can bless us physically and one focuses on how God can bless us spiritually. One is born of the flesh and the other is born of the Spirit. One seeks to come to God on our terms; the other seeks to come to God on His terms.
Both may recognize the will of God, but one seeks to make it happen through the way we think it should happen, while the other seeks the way God wants it to happen. If we seek worldly answers to spiritual problems we will not reap the fruit of the Spirit.
In MATTHEW 7:16, Jesus asked,
"Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?"
You cannot plant wheat and expect to grow tomatoes. And neither can you walk and live in the world, yet expect to reap spiritual blessings.
God promised Abraham a son. That son, Isaac, was a long time in coming. Abraham thought it was too long; so Sarah and Abraham decided to make God’s plan happen through their ways.
Both Abraham and Sarah were too old to have children in the natural way, so to try and make God’s promise happen, Abraham would try to have that son through Hagar. It was a worldly solution to a spiritual problem, and it didn’t work. It brought disaster.
”Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way [talking about Ishmael] persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. [talking about Isaac]. It is the same now.”
Paul is writing to those who are trying to be Godly, but doing so through physical decisions. They were finding it difficult to completely step out of the world and rely totally on God.
They had too many friends in the world and they had many things they did in the world – just like many of today’s Christians. But they found that they could not have it both ways. They could either walk in the world or they could walk in the Spirit, but you cannot walk in the world and be full of the Holy Spirit.
Just like Abraham and Sarah. They were trying to figure out how God’s promise could be brought about by natural means.
Don’t we do the same in our lives? For instance, when something bad happens in our lives, we know that God wants us to immediately go to Him for help. We know that we are supposed to fully rely on God. But even knowing that, what do we do?
Don’t we rush in and try to fix the problem by our own means, while praying all the while for God to take care of it? The dilemma we find ourselves in is that we try to pray in the Spirit, but act in the flesh: Just like Abraham and Sarah did.
Abraham believed that God’s promises were real, but he thought it was up to him to make it happen. And we have that same struggle in our lives today. We go to church; we sing the songs of praise; we pray for guidance and direction; we talk about faith; and then we leave church and try to handle everything ourselves while praying that God handles it for us.
We must not only believe in God’s promises, but we must trust Him to bring them to about in His own timing and way.
A famous actor was an after dinner speaker at a big function and when he stood up to speak, he invited his audience to choose a poem for him to recite. A pastor, sitting in the audience, raised his hand and asked him to recite the 23rd PSALM. The actor agreed providing the pastor would recite it after him.